Many people across the United States find themselves facing hefty medical bills each year, and the rising cost of healthcare means that these bills can often be for eye-watering sums that people really struggle to afford. However, a recent report has suggested that those who have medical bills to pay should first get the bill checked out properly and obtain professional advice because there is a strong chance that the final amount being asked for could be incorrect.
According to the report, a huge percentage of medical bills tend to contain errors and this means that consumers may end up paying more than they actually need to. It appears that the level of errors in medical bills has been on the rise over the past few years, which is why experts are now urging consumers who receive medical bills to ensure they check the amount they owe is correct before they settle the bill.
Instance of errors on the increase
According to the American Medical Association, there were errors in just over 7 percent of paid claims in 2013. The following year, another independent study suggested that there were errors in close to 50 percent of Medicare claims. However, there are also groups that look at claims on behalf of consumers such as CoPatient and American Billing Advocates of America, and they have said that the rate of errors is more like 75 to 80 percent.
These figures suggest that the error rate has been increasing over the past few years and this could leave many Americans seriously out of pocket. One expert said that consumers should hold off paying the medical bill until it has been checked and verified as correct. While spotting errors is something that can be difficult for the lay person who knows little to nothing about medical billing, there are groups that can help by checking the bill and industry experts have said that this will help to make things easier for those facing medical costs.
Employers are also recognizing the problem that their employees face when it comes to medical bills and as such many are now offering access to resources and assistance for their workers. A recent survey carried out by benefits administration group Aon Hewitt showed that out of 800 large and medium sized businesses, 45 percent were now offering access to advocacy services for their employees. One official said that this could help to not only reduce costs for workers but also boost productivity at work.